Diane combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series. She is also a contributor to two anthologies: Portals, Volume 2 and How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and five grandchildren.
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Wait. Mother’s Day isn’t until May, so why am I writing about mothers in February? Mothers deserve more than one day or month to be remembered. More than just remembered, appreciated. I was so blessed by having three wonderful mothers in my life.
My mom proved that women can do anything they want to. She was a pampered city girl, the baby of the family, transplanted to a mini-farm in the middle of nowhere. Dad and his brothers built our house, but once the drywall was up, separating rooms, he considered his work done. Mom learned how to spackle seams and nailheads, paint, and lay tile—not the peel-and-stick kind, the old asphalt tiles with a black sticky mastic that had to be spread first. Why? Because she wanted to see more than bare drywall and plywood floors. She did all that over a couple of years, while also having seven kids.
My mother-in-law knew that her future husband and his mother were a package deal. Her MIL lived with them for twenty-five years. I can’t imagine. Especially, having a strong-willed mother-in-law. My MIL had one child. Since he took his own sweet time finding the right girl (moi), she despaired of him ever getting married, let alone having grandkids. When our first was a girl, MIL was ecstatic. I didn’t need to buy dresses, MIL couldn’t find enough. But the best thing about her was that she never criticized. At least, not that I knew.
MIL’s sister was my third “mother.” In their later years, she and my in-laws did everything together. MIL didn’t drive, her sister did. An independent woman for years, she didn’t marry until her middle-fifties and only for less than ten years when he died. After my father-in-law passed away, she organized trips for herself and her sister. They were in their early 90s by this time. After the first trip to Europe, they invited my widowed mother to join them. (Mom was the spring chicken in her middle 70s.) The three of them traveled to Europe several times until age started taking its toll on the two 90+ year-olds, and Alzheimer’s began to rob Mom’s mind.
Mom lived to be 84, MIL 102, her sister 100. Our children consider all three their grandmothers. I considered them my “Moms.”
Not everyone is as blessed as I’ve been. Mothers range from doting to demanding, from prying to interfering to meddling.
In the 3rd book in the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series, The Case of the Meddling Mama, her boyfriend’s mother comes for a visit . . . and stays. After Alex’s father and his business partner turned the investigation agency over to Alex, they moved to Arizona. That allowed her to be her own person without them hanging over her shoulder. Nice for her. Not so nice for the biz partner’s wife. Although it was her idea to move away from the bitter cold Michigan winters, she didn’t expect that her husband would get a mistress, one whose name is spelled GOLF. After a year of losing him to that sport, she gave up and moved back home. And in with Alex.
That put a big crimp in Alex’s love life. No way was her boyfriend sleeping with her with his mother down the hall. Since his mother had once been involved in the agency as secretary, receptionist, etc. and Alex’s last receptionist had been carted off to jail, she appointed herself office manager. That made her an integral part of Alex’s business and personal life. That also entitled her to express her opinion on both levels. Can we spell meddling?
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About The Case of the Meddling Mama
Once again, Alex O’Hara is up to her ears in mysteries. After surviving an attempted murder, all she wants is R&R time with Nick Palzetti. But his mother leaving his father (“that horse’s patoot”) and moving in with Alex puts a crimp in their plans. Then Nick leaves on assignment and the teen she rescued from an abusive father believes his buddy is doing drugs. Meanwhile, Alex has two easy cases to take her mind off her shaky relationship with Nick—a philandering husband and a background check on a client’s boyfriend. Piece of cake.
“Alexandra, is that you?” Maria Palzetti, Nick’s mom and self-appointed office manager, called out as I came in through the back door of the agency.
“Yes, it’s me.”
“It is I,” Maria corrected as she bustled down the hall. Short and a little on the plump side, she always looked stylish. Today, she wore a floral infinity scarf over a soft lavender short-sleeve sweater and a gray skirt. Her salt-and-pepper hair framed her face on which she wore light make-up. “Always remember to use proper English.”
“Yes, Mother,” I said, hoping my grin would take the sting out of my smart-aleck response. After Mom died, Maria had become the closest thing to a mother, even though she never tried to take Mom’s place. Actually, she was my mother-in-law—she just didn’t know it.
And I wasn’t saying.
The Case of the Meddling Mama: An Alex O’Hara Novel is available at:
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